Stories of Chinese incursions in the media have created a lot of ripples in government as well as in the society. There is the growing national consensus that the country should prepare itself to avoid a repeat of the 1962 fiasco.
Military leaders, including the Air Force chief, have reassured the country that the armed forces are prepared to meet all challenges to the freedom and sovereignty of the country. Meanwhile, in a bizarre turn of events a section of the media has questioned the motive behind such a wide coverage of Chinese incursions. The question has been asked as to who is behind the massive coverage.
The Union government has gone to the extent of announcing legal action against two journalists who reported non-existent incursions. For a country like India, where media freedom is well-entrenched and a lot of uncritical, inaccurate (and almost hearsay) reporting is quite common, this development looks rather strange.
However, things seem to have taken a more tangible (and rather credible) shape with Prakash Karat’s allegation in an article in CPM weekly People’s Democracy that a US lobby in India had built up the coverage of Chinese incursions to create “complications” in India-China relations.
It was part of the strategy of those “dominating the world economic order” to put India against China, he wrote. The obvious reference here was to the United States. Karat wrote quoting a Washington Post report that retired US admirals and generals working with weapons manufacturers were lobbying for arms deals with India and US military officials had been indicating the need for an arms build-up against China.
Be as it may, the people of India would not like to see politics being played with the defence of India, nor would they love to see a media scare created by foreign commercial and military interests. Let India decide for itself keeping in view what is good for it rather than what is good for America or China. g